Home Kent News Kent shows strong support for Afghan refugees with vigil and hotel rooms

Kent shows strong support for Afghan refugees with vigil and hotel rooms

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Original article from Kent Live

The impact of the ongoing Afghan refugee situation is being felt across Kent.

Refugees already in the county have been left "traumatised" by what they have seen and heard from speaking to those back home.

The Taliban's return to power earlier this week has seen a surge in refugees fleeing Afghanistan.

The military group were removed from power in 2011 when Western forces invaded the country and their stances on a number of subjects, such as women's rights, make them widely feared.

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It is a desperate situation for many but the good news is – you can help.

The Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) has outlined the best ways to support people affected by the situation.

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Bridget Chapman, a spokesperson for KRAN, said: "We'd recommend people register with charities if they have a spare bed in their house or even a sofa.

The vigil held in Dover on Thursday (August 19)

"Refugees At Home or Rooms For Refugees are organisations that exist to offer temporary accommodation to people, and registering doesn't mean you commit to anything, it just means you express an interest.

"Sometimes it could be providing space on a sofa for a couple of nights, sometimes people host for months, but it very much depends on the situation and nobody is pushed into anything.

"We are going to need a lot more capacity across the community so if people do want to register with those charities that would be something very meaningful that they can do."

KRAN has also set up a Crowdfunder campaign to support the mental health for young refugees, which has already raised over £1,700.

You can view the donation page by clicking this link.

The vigil held in Dover on Thursday (August 19)

A vigil was held in Dover last night (August 19) off the back of a week of heartbreak in Afghanistan.

Around 40 people gathered at the two memorial plaques at the east end of the seafront that commemorate other lives that have been lost at the border.

The event, organised by Kay Marsh of Samphire, a Dover migrant rights charity, started at sunset around 8pm and lasted for around an hour.

Kay said: "The vigil was held to honour the latest lives lost in the Channel, as a young man lost his life last week while trying to cross.

"It gives people the chance to come and pay their respects.

"It's also used as a platform to highlight the need for safe legal routes to asylum in the UK, and the fact that the new immigration bill doesn't offer any new safe legal routes to asylum in the UK."

Hotel to offer accommodation

Canterbury City Council shared some details of a new project which will see 106 Afghan nationals stay at Abbots Barton Hotel.

In a statement posted on Facebook they said: "Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement about the Afghan resettlement scheme, we are pleased to confirm we will be supporting the Home Office with a project to accommodate 106 Afghan nationals at Abbots Barton Hotel in Canterbury.

"These are individuals and their families who have worked with the British armed forces in Afghanistan.

"The Home Office is using Abbots Barton as a holding hotel until the families can be moved to permanent accommodation within the UK.

"Some may stay only a few days until this happens, while others may be in the hotel for a longer period.

"Our officers will be helping with this project by providing welfare support to these individuals and families while they are in Canterbury."

The vigil held in Dover on Thursday (August 19)

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and Swale Borough Council have both issued updates encouraging private landlords to get involved.

They ask that those with good quality accommodation, which could help to house Afghan refugees, get in touch.

This comes as part of a national effort to offer sanctuary to Afghan nations who were forced to flee their homeland.

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Original Article